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TasunkaWitko’s House Recipes

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Forum Name: Recipes, Cooking, Game Processing and Food in General
Forum Description: From the lake, the field, the garden or the campfire! Family and ethnic recipes also encouraged!
Printed Date: 05 June 2020 at 01:06
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Topic: TasunkaWitko’s House Recipes
Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Subject: TasunkaWitko’s House Recipes
Date Posted: 04 February 2005 at 10:04

TasunkaWitko's House Bacon-Potato Chowder

this is a GREAT hot lunch or dinner on a cold day!


8 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch slices
6 medium (2 cups) new red potatoes, cubed 1/2-inch
2 medium (1 cup) onions, chopped
1 cup sour cream
1 1/4 cups milk
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 (8-ounce) can whole kernal corn, drained
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Cook bacon in 3-quart saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until done; add potatoes, garlic and onions. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender (10 to 15 minutes).

Add all remaining ingredients and reduce heat. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, about half an hour or so to make sure potatoes are done.

TasunkaWitko - Chinook, Montana

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Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 30 June 2005 at 21:11

TasunkaWitko's House Pretzel Fish

this recipe is simple and works great with any white, firm-fleshed fish.

  • 4 cups pretzel twists
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 3 tablespoons beer
  • 2 1/4 lbs of northern pike, walleye or similar fish fillets (3-6 oz each, skin removed)
  • vegetable oil
  • lemon wedges

place pretzels in food processor. process until powdery. (pretzels may also be placed in a large plastic food-storage bag and crushed with rolling pin) place powdered pretzels in a large plastic food-storage bag. in medium mixing bowl, combine eggs, milk and beer. dip fillets in egg mixture, then shake in pretzel powder to coat.

in 12-inch skillet heat 1/8 inch of oil over medium heat. add fillets. fry 3 1/2 - 6 minutes or until golden brown, turning once. drain on paper towel-lined plate. serve with lemon wedges.

6 servings

TasunkaWitko - Chinook, Montana

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Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 16 April 2006 at 13:02

TasunkaWitko's House Baked Ham

we use this one for nearly every holiday calling for a ham, including christmas and easter, as well as other special occasions. multiply the recipe as the ham gets bigger. if you have extra stuff, it can be put in a baking dish and baked like dressing.

  • 8-lb ham (boneless works best)
  • 1 cup fine dry bread crumbs
  • 1 cup shredded swiss cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. dry mustard
  • 6 Tbsp (3/4 stick) melted butter or margarine
  • 1/2 cup drained, crushed pineapple (from about an 8-ounce can)

place ham, fat side up, on a rack in a large, shallow roasting pan. do not add water or cover pan. bake in slow oven (325 degrees) for two hours, remove from oven and cool slightly.

combine crumbs, cheese, mustard, melted butter or margarine and pineapple into a small bowl. pat mixture firmly over top of ham. return to oven and bake 30 minutes longer, or until cheese mixture is toasty brown.

TasunkaWitko - Chinook, Montana

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Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 23 February 2007 at 08:38
TasunkaWitko's House Hamburger Pie

• 2 lbs. lean burger, crumbled
• 1 onion, chopped
• A sprinkle or two of your favorite seasoning (we use Alpine Touch)
• 2 cans tomato soup
• 2 cans of your favorite vegetables (we use peas and carrots)
• 1 box Betty Crocker Flavored Mashed Potatoes (we often make the
mashed potatoes from scratch, but I advise the box for the sake of
• 8 oz. (small block) cheddar cheese, grated (the sharper the better)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brown the burger and onion together,
seasoning to your taste. Drain. Add tomato soup and vegetables, then
simmer a few minutes while you make the potatoes according to package
directions. Potatoes should be on the firm side.

Dump the hamburger mixture in the bottom of a baking pan and spread
it out evenly. Be sure to use one big enough to fill the pan about halfway.
Spread mashed over top, leaving a few open holes here and there to allow
steam to escape. I forgot to leave open spaces once, with very messy

Top everything with cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes,
or until cheese and potatoes brown up a bit. Allow to stand 5 minutes
and serve. Leftovers make good lunch the next day.

TasunkaWitko - Chinook, Montana

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Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 20 August 2009 at 10:57
TasunkaWitko's Method for Homemade Pizza
i must admit, i cheat just a little bit when i make pizza - i use jiffy or wal-mart boxed crust but modify it quite a bit. i add italian herbs, garlic and onion powder, a bit of parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper flakes and of course a tablespoon or so of decent olive oil. also, i've found that sometimes it is necessary to add a little flour or water to get the right consistency to the dough. it "should" be smooth, elastic and not all sticky. don't knead it too much, or all the gluten breaks down and you end up with something like warm bubble gum that has been chewed all day. i just use a bread machine until it is right, then let it sit and rest for a few minutes in a warm place with a little olive oil drizzled on it and covered with a dish towel. when the time comes to get it to the pan, you can flour a surface and roll it out, or do the toss-in-the-air thing, which actually works "better" because it uses gravity (centrifugal force) to stretch the dough out to the size of the pan, plus leaves a thicker are around edges for crust. takes a little practice, i am still learning. i tried making my own crust with bisquik once, and it worked pretty good, but the jiffy or wal-mart crust is pretty much the same.
for sauce, i also add a bit of herbs, etc., but not much; basil and oregano are great, but don't be afraid to experiment. i haven't yet had the guts to try making my own sauce, but i've got a couple of good recipes supposedly from italy; for now, i use this really good stuff called contadina or something like that? has a picture of a smiling lady on the front. if they don't have that where you live, you can probably use whatever they have.
i've learned that a pizza stone makes outstanding pizza crust - crunchy outside/chewy inside, but if you don't have one of those, one of those new pizza pans with the holes in the bottom works almost as well. here's what i do - try it and maybe it will help:
  • brush or spray pan or pizza stone (heated to 425 degrees) with olive oil
  • press out dough
  • use a fork to poke holes around in the crust or thump dimples down into it with your fingers. if you are a lunatic like me, you do both!
  • slap on half a bottle of the sauce (not sure how much this is) and spread it out toward the crust edges with a spoon - leave almost an inch of dough around edges with no sauce (this is going to sound obsessive, but 3/4 inch works best!)
  • sprinkle sauce with just a little parmesan cheese. this helps to keep toppings form sliding off later.
  • lay out your toppings, i like pepperoni, mushrooms, black olives and sometimes chopped onion. use whatever you want but distribute it evenly - as the chick from everyday italian would say, "isn't that pretty?"
  • top with shredded mozzarella or a shredded italian blend. my opinion is the more different cheeses in the blend, the better. the square-shaped SLICES of mozzarella also work very well.
  • if you want, sprinkle a few herbs and/or crushed red peppers on top of the cheese.
  • bake at 425 until the crust is golden brown and the cheese browns up a good bit.
  • take it out of the oven, let sit for about 5 minutes (also to keep toppings from sliding off), slice and pig out.
as you can see, i've made too many pizzas in my day! i'm one of those folks who can't just make a pizza, i've gotta be some little old artisan in a cottage on a remote hill in tuscany or something creating a masterpiece. my wife hates it - just MAKE the dang thing, she says! i wanted to take a picture of one a month or so ago as it came out of the oven and she thought i was nuts.
anyway, if you're looking for good pizza, that works pretty well. a lot of flavors that work great together.

TasunkaWitko - Chinook, Montana

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Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 20 August 2009 at 10:59

TasunkaWitko's House Chicken Soup


Ron’s Notes:  When I am making this, it takes me back to my grandparents’ home in Killdeer, North Dakota; I don’t remember my grandmother ever making chicken soup, but the smells coming out of her kitchen were the same as this and scream the fabled phrase, “home-cookin’,” to every corner of the house. This excellent and versatile soup lends itself to a little experimentation with the herbs and spices; be careful adding salt as the broth and chicken will probably have enough. The use of a rotisserie chicken makes a convenient and great-tasting component to this recipe, but you are of course free to use a stewing chicken, pheasant or other game birds or even leftover turkey.  I prefer a thick soup so I thicken it near the end with cornstarch or gravy. You can add rice, noodles, potatoes or dumplings as you choose. As usual, this recipe makes enough for at least 6 people; cut in half for a smaller batch.


    • 2-to-3 Tbsp. Olive oil or butter (or combination of the two)
    • 1 large or two small yellow onions, diced
    • 4 cloves of garlic, diced fine or minced
    • 1 lb. of carrots, diced
    • 1 bunch of celery, diced fine (including the little leaves etc. in the center)
    • 1 rotisserie chicken from your grocer’s deli, skinned, boned and cut into bite-sized cubes
    • 2 Tbsp. mixture of your favorite herbs (thyme, savory, sage, marjoram and rosemary are suggested); double amount if using fresh herbs
    • Pepper to taste
    • *Optional – ½ cup of your favorite cooking wine (Marsala suggested)
    • 4-to-6 cups of chicken stock, broth or water (or combination of the two)
    • Choice of rice (2 cups), noodles (one bag), cubed potatoes (6) or dumplings (as many as you can get in there)
    • *Optional – two envelopes of chicken gravy to thicken
    • *Optional – 1 large or two small envelopes of cheddar cheese sauce mix

Heat oil and/or butter in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Sauté onions and garlic to sweat them out a bit, then add carrots and celery and sauté for another five minutes, stirring often. Add chicken cubes, herbs and pepper; continue cooking and stirring for another five or ten minutes, adding wine (if desired) near the end.


Add enough broth and/or water to fill pot, then bring to a boil. If thick soup is desired, add gravy or cheddar cheese sauce mix (whisked into a quarter cup of water, broth or milk) and stir thoroughly. If rice, noodles, potatoes or dumplings are desired, add now, then reduce heat. Simmer 20 minutes or until all ingredients are soft.

TasunkaWitko - Chinook, Montana

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Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 20 August 2009 at 11:00
Tasunkawitko's House Chex Party Mix
Cut recipe in half for a smaller batch
·   1 box corn chex
·   1 box rice chex
·   1 box wheat chex
·   1 bag pretzels
Seasoning Mix:
·   2 Sticks butter or margarine
·   4 Tbsp. - Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce (we recently found some low-sodium
·   2 Tbsp. - Kikkoman Low-sodium soy sauce
·   3 tsp. - Lawry’s Seasoned Salt (there is no good substitute)
·   2 tsp. - Alpine touch  or your favourite seasoning blend
·   1 ½ tsp. garlic powder (not salt)
·   1 ½ tsp. onion powder (not salt)
·   1 tsp. - Tabasco sauce
1.  Heat oven to something between 225 and 250 degrees. Dump cereal and pretzels into large mixing bowl.
2.  Melt butter in saucepan; stir in seasoning mix ingredients until well-blended and dissolved. Using a wand blender seems to achieve better results.
3.  Drizzle seasoning over cereal and pretzels, pausing occasionally to stir gently and mix well until all pieces are coated. Put the batch into a baking pan that will hold it all.
4.  Bake in oven for one hour, stirring gently every 15 minutes. Try not to nibble until it is done.

TasunkaWitko - Chinook, Montana

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Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 20 August 2009 at 11:01

TasunkaWitko's House Chili

this recipe might be frowned upon by the hardcore chili-ologists, but it works and feeds two adults and four kids with some leftovers for the next day. for a smaller number of people, cut recipe in half.

  • 2 large cans of diced tomatoes
  • 2 large cans of chili beans
  • 2 pounds of ground meat or meat cubes (hamburger, deer, elk, chorizo, anything. i tried 1/2 ground pork and 1/2 hamburger once and it was great!)
  • 2 small cans of tomato sauce
  • 2 small cans of tomato paste
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped fine 
  • *optional - a dash or two of liquid smoke

combine all spices in a container and set aside:

  • 3 Tbsp. Chili powder (or to taste)
  • 1 Tbsp. dry oregano (or to taste)
  • 1 Tbsp. cumin (or to taste)
  • 2 tsp. coriander (or to taste) 
  • 2 tsp. freshly-ground black pepper
  • 4 beef bullion cubes, crushed (or equivalent amount in granules)

brown the hamburger with the onion and garlic on high until the "juice" is gone and you've got nothing but meat and fat left. some people like to drain the fat, some like to leave it in; i prefer to drain it. if you use meat cubes rather than burger, brown them in 2 Tbsp. of hot olive oil. add the spices and stir well, then add tomatoes and beans and cook, stirring constantly, until juices reduce down. add tomato sauce, tomato paste and liquid smoke (optional). bring to boiling, stirring often, then reduce heat down to low and simmer until you can't wait any longer.

this recipe relies on store-bought chili beans, which might be a no-no to the die-hards, but is essential to working parents with 4 kids. keep in mind that these store-bought beans usually already have a bit of seasoning and chili powder, so the amounts i suggest reflect that fact. this recipe also does not have jalapenos, green peppers, cayenne peppers or habaneros, although you may certainly add them if you want to.

i really like cumin, but mrs. tash doesn't, so i often leave it out. i did add a bit of liquid smoke once, and got a great outdoors flavor that i really liked and my wife really hated. give it a try at your discretion.

if anyone tries this, let me know what you think of it.

TasunkaWitko - Chinook, Montana

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Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 20 August 2009 at 11:01

TasunkaWitko’s Method for Spare Ribs

(These took 3rd in the 2008 Chinook Annual Rib Cook-off!)

Stuff needed –

  • Plain, Yellow Mustard
  • Durkee’s St. Louis Style Rub (get more than you think you will need)
  • Low-sodium soy sauce (Kikkoman is good)
  • Dr. Pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Dark Brown Sugar

Before cooking:

·  IMPORTANT! If necessary, remove membrane from bone-side of ribs!

·  Brush with a light but thorough coating of mustard

·  Apply rub generously

·  Cover and let rub work in over night in refrigerator

·  Next morning, get smoker up to 230-250 degrees – sprinkle on a little more rub.

During cooking (230-250 degrees MAX):

·  Brush or spray with mop (1/3 cup olive oil, 1 cup Dr. Pepper and 2/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce – mix well with hand blender before each use) every 45 minutes to an hour or so (this is also a good time to tend the fire, if needed).

·  Turn and rotate ribs around on grates as necessary if using horizontal smoker (optional but not necessary w/vertical water smoker).

·  Keep a thin, almost-blue smoke. Recommended woods: apple, cherry, maple (or a 1:1:1 combination of these three) – or hickory.

·  Cooking time can be anywhere from three to five hours depending on conditions.

·  When INTERNAL temperature of ribs is around 172 degrees and meat pulls away from bones a ways, they are ready for final stage.

Final Stage:

·  Toward the end of cooking time for ribs, mix together in a small saucepan the ingredients for finishing glaze (1/3 cup mustard, 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar and 1/3 cup dark brown sugar) over low heat until completely dissolved and thoroughly blended. Cover and set aside.

·  Moments before ribs are ready to be pulled off, brush with glaze (both sides)

·  As soon as ribs are pulled off, brush with glaze again (both sides).

BBQ sauce?

·  Ribs cooked this way shouldn’t need any, but it is always good to serve some on the side, for those who don’t know that! ;)

TasunkaWitko - Chinook, Montana

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Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 20 August 2009 at 11:02

TasunkaWitko's House Focaccia al Formaggio di Recco

Preparation: 30 min.

Cooking: 20 min.

Difficulty: Easy

Ron’s Notes: This recipe is simple and outstanding; it’s also straight from Italy! The basic recipe can be added to according to the tastes of the cook or the family. I have made notes (BOLD/CAPS) that might come in handy. There are a few places where you may want to add Italian herbs or spices to the basic recipe (at any one spot or even all of them); those places are so noted below. The herbs and spices add a lot to the recipe, but use them sparingly so that they do not overwhelm the final product!

History: Cheese focaccia (focaccia al formaggio) is a typical recipe from Liguria region of Italy; more specifically, it is from the town of Recco. The homemade cheese focaccia is a simple thing to do, but impossible to achieve perfection, and to taste a real traditional one you need to find a small bakery of Recco. These bakeries keep lots of secrets to themselves and you will only find out all the tricks of the trade if you work in a traditional bakery; however, it tastes good and after few attempts at home, anyone should be able to get close to the original.


 To keep it simple and fast, I suggest to using a bread machine (pasta dough OR DOUGH settings) to prepare the dough. Add 250 ml (just a bit less than ½-pint (ABOUT 1 CUP) of tepid (WARM) water to the bread machine bucket. Alternatively, you can work the dough by hand, kneading for about 10 minutes. 




 Weigh 500 g (1.1 lb.) (ABOUT 3 OR 4 CUPS) of plain flour (ALL-PURPOSE).


 Add the flour to the bread machine bucket.



 Let the bread machine to work the dough (it should take about 20 minutes) and when the dough is ready, it should be smooth, not sticky and elastic. (YOU WILL PROBABLY NEED TO ADD A LITTLE FLOUR AND/OR WATER TO GET THE RIGHT CONSISTENCY; YOU'LL KNOW IT'S RIGHT WHEN IT HAPPENS!)


 Then, wrap the dough into a clingfilm and let the dough to rest for about 40 minutes.


 When the 40 minutes have passed, cut the dough in four parts and make four balls (you need two balls for one tray (THIS RECIPE MAKES TWO TRAYS TOTAL). Take the first ball and using a rolling pin, make a layer as thin as you can and big enough to cover your tray.  (IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO ROLL IT OUT VERY THIN)


 Brush the surface of your tray with olive oil (OR USE 100% OLIVE OIL SPRAY) and cover it with your first layer. Use a shallow tray, rectangular or circular it doesn't matter. For this focaccia recipe I have used an oven tray 33 cm x 23 cm (13" x 9"). (A ROUND PIZZA PAN WORKS GREAT!)


 Then, add the cheese to the top of the first layer.


 About the cheese. Tradition requires you to use fresh "crescenza" cheese, a white soft cheese which is very popular in Italy. Alternatively, you can try using soft "stracchino" cheese or buffalo mozzarella. (NOT HAVING ANY OF THIS, WE'VE TRIED SEVERAL "ITALIAN BLEND" CHEESES. ALL HAVE WORKED WELL. YOU MAY WANT TO ADD GRATED PARMESAN AS WELL. CHEDDAR ALSO WORKS VERY WELL FOR A DIFFERENT FLAVOR. BE SURE TO SHRED THE CHEESE UNLESS IT IS THE REALLY SOFT STUFF)


 Complete the tray until your cheese is finished. You should have the cheese evenly distributed on all of the surface. For this tray I have used 280 g (10 oz.) of "crescenza" cheese. (YOU MAY WANT TO ADD BASIL, OREGANO, SUN-DRIED TOMATO SLICES, ONION, GARLIC, MUSHROOMS, PEPPERONI, THIN-SLICED ITALIAN HAM (PROSCUITTO)  OR WHATEVER ELSE YOU MIGHT WANT TO ADD)


 With the second ball prepare another layer that you will use to cover the first layer and the cheese.


 If the layers overlap the tray, before sealing the outer border try to cut the excess part.


 Then seal by rolling and gently pressing the outer border with your fingers.

 This photograph shows the border sealed and the top layer brushed with olive oil. (YOU MAY WANT TO SPRINKLE ON ITALIAN HERBS; BASIL, OREGANO ETC.)

 Also, brush the borders with olive oil.


 Now, pinch the top layer with your fingers. You should make holes about 1 cm wide.


 The tray is ready for the oven.


 Meanwhile you have pre-heated the oven at 220º C or gas mark 7 (425ºF). Put the tray on the top shelf and cook for about 20 (TO 25) minutes or until the surface is golden-brown and crispy.


 Once the focaccia is cooked, sprinkle (OR BRUSH) few drops of olive oil on its top (AND PARMESAN, IF DESIRED) and now enjoy the focaccia with your friends.

TasunkaWitko - Chinook, Montana

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Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 20 August 2009 at 11:04

Tasunkawitko's House Chicken Pot Pie

Ron’s Notes:  My son, Billy, and I came up with this as a way to use up some left-over chicken that I had smoked the day before. This stuff tastes GREAT and is so easy that a kid in junior high can make it. The smoke-permeated chicken provides a great aroma that brings images of bacon in a cast-iron skillet over a campfire, but the chicken inside is lean, juicy and full of flavor. This is an easy and satisfying go-to dish that will make a well-balanced meal. If you don’t have smoked chicken, use regular chicken and enjoy!

• 2-3 Tbsp. butter or margarine
• 1 onion, diced
• 4 cloves garlic, diced fine
• 1 large or two standard-sized envelopes of chicken gravy (an equal amount of gravy in a can or jar would be fine)
• 3-4 cups smoked chicken, cut into bite-sized cubes and pieces
• 2 cans of your favorite vegetables, or a combination, drained (an equal amount of frozen veggies would be even better!)
• 2 tsp. your favorite seasoning or herb/spice mix (or a little salt-n-pepper)
• 2 nine-inch pie crusts (or make your own)
• 2 cans biscuits (or make your own dough)
• 1 egg, beat with a fork, for brushing
• A couple of handfuls of shredded cheddar (or your favorite) cheese

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Sauté the onion and garlic in the butter until they are translucent, then add the chicken to heat it up and blend the flavors. Add the vegetables and seasoning to the sauté pan and heat the mixture through. At the same time, you should be preparing the gravy so that it can simmer on low and thicken up a bit.

Spray the bottoms of two pie pans with Pam or other cooking spray and line them with the pie crusts. Divide the mixture equally into each pie pan, then do the same with the gravy over the top of the chicken and vegetables. Spread the filling if necessary to reach the corners and edges of the crusts.

Open the cans of biscuits and flatten each one slightly as you lay them out across the top of the filling the same as you would line pepperoni around on a pizza. Don’t worry if there are a few small holes in the topping here and there as these holes will allow steam to escape. If any pie crust is sticking up from the sides of the pan, fold it in toward the biscuits. Brush the beaten egg across the biscuits and around the edges of the topping to seal. Sprinkle the cheese across the top.

Bake for 30 minutes or until the biscuits and cheese are a rich, crusty brown (usually about five minutes after you think they’re done). Remove the pies from the oven, allow to set for 5 minutes, and then dig in. There should be plenty left over for lunch the next day.

TasunkaWitko - Chinook, Montana

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Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 20 August 2009 at 11:05

Tasunkawitko's House Smoked Trout


Here is what I have learned about smoking trout so far. I am by no means an expert, but I have had good results evolving the method below and continue to learn. I use the Little and/or Big Chief electric smokehouses, so your mileage may vary; also, there is no reason why this method shouldn’t work for any fish – experimentation leads to success!

I have had excellent luck using a simple brine of 1/2 cup of non-iodized salt (or soy sauce) and 1/2 cup of white sugar (or, better yet, brown sugar, honey, maple syrup etc.). Mix this with any of your favorite herbs and a few crushed red pepper flakes into a gallon jar, making sure to completely dissolve the salts and sugars. I have also added garlic, onion, wine, tabasco and other spices with good results. You literally are limited only by your tastes, your imagination and what is in your kitchen. Be careful of the salt content because it is easy to have too much salt. Use fresh seasonings and reduced-salt or salt-free whenever you can, but do not use salt substitutes.

Add your trout fillets and at least a quart of good water (I really like to substitute apple juice); depending on the amount of trout fillets you can usually simply fill the gallon jar.

Most trout do not need to be filleted but I prefer them that way. A good way to do it is to fillet down each side to the tail, leaving it on and attached, cutting the skeleton off from the very base of the tail. After you fillet, carefully fillet the rib bones out, sliding your fillet knife underneath them. This will take care of most of the bones. In all cases involving trout, I prefer to leave skin on, but be sure to scale your fish. If you don't, you will wish you had.

Brine overnight, at least 12 hours. When this is done, I prefer to rinse each fillet or fish, and then pat dry with paper towels, then hang on the rack or lay on the grate/grill and give an hour or so for the pellicle (a shiny, tacky “skin” on the surface of the fish) to form. The rinsing step is not absolutely necessary if you prefer saltier tastes, but I prefer it as I would rather taste the spices and seasonings than the salt. Rinsing will not remove the flavors of your other seasonings; trout seems to hold the flavors of herbs and spices well.

Hang the trout meat-side-out by the connected tail on a rack and smoke according to your manufacturers instructions. You can also forget the tail thing and simply lay the fillets skin-side-down on a rack or grill. If you are smoking whole trout (smaller ones, of course), prop the bellies open with a toothpick or similar object and lay the fish on their side or hang them head-down. No matter what seasonings I put in the brine, i also like to sprinkle on a very modest amount of crushed bay leaves and crushed red peppers on the fish when the time comes to smoke - maybe dill or some other herb; once again according to your tastes.

My own preferred wood for smoking trout is maple, but apple, cherry and of course alder work very well. I am sure there are many, many choices that I haven't even thought of, including any fruit tree. Alder blended with any of the above is very nice. Trout tastes much mellower than salmon, so it takes and holds smoke well. You can smoke as much as you want but medium is probably best.

I prefer that my fillets be done, still moist with the meat opaque and flaking, but some like it a bit "under-done" from this state. As long as you bring it to 160 degrees or so, I imagine it is safe; after all, people eat sushi, right? As far as drying it out, a person can go all the way toward jerky if they want. I have tried this and it is alright, but to me it is not nearly as good or as versatile, though it will have a much longer shelf-life.

Your smoked trout can be eaten by itself or in any way you want. Peel it off the skin or, if smoked whole, peel off the skin and lift the meat right off the bones; try it on crackers with cheese! A very good thing to do is to smoke some trout, flake it up so it resembles canned tuna (but not nearly as moist, of course), then mix it with cream cheese and/or mayonnaise and finely-chopped green onions. Add a dash of salt-n-pepper, tabasco, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice or whatever you want and you have an excellent dip or spread that will have the neighbors, the co-workers at the office or the relatives bugging you for more.

TasunkaWitko - Chinook, Montana

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Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 20 August 2009 at 11:06

TasunkaWitko's House Inside-Out Enchiladas


Ron’s Notes: I have the Old El Paso cookbook to thank for the basis of this recipe. The original was pretty good, but called for the entire preparation and presentation to be in one skillet, which I found to be rather awkward. I fiddled around with some of the ingredients and modified the preparation so that it can be finished in a baking dish, and I do believe that my version is an improvement. Feel free to add or experiment with various Mexican spices, including cumin, chili peppers etc. This recipe is written for a large family, so you might want to cut the ingredients in half.



  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
  • 1 (20 ounce) can enchilada sauce
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 can sliced black olives
  • 16 corn tortillas
  • 5 cups shredded cheese (Cheddar, American or blended)
  • Oil for frying tortillas



In a large skillet, cook ground beef and onion over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Stir in the soup, enchilada sauce and milk. Bring to a boil then reduce heat, simmering uncovered for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

While sauce is simmering, dip each tortilla in hot oil for about 5 seconds on each side and drain on paper towels. Pour approximately half of the sauce and beef mixture into a rectangular glass or similar baking dish.

Reserve 1/2-cup of cheese and place 1/4-cup cheese and a few olive slices down the center of each tortilla. Roll up and place seam-side-down in sauce-filled baking dish. Pour remaining sauce and beef mixture over enchiladas; Top with remaining cheese and black olives. Bake at 350 degrees until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbling nicely.

TasunkaWitko - Chinook, Montana

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Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 20 August 2009 at 11:07

TasunkaWitko's House Burritos

Ron’s Notes: This one has been in our family since I was a kid and never fails to be a good one. My mother is originally from southwestern Colorado, so i am assuming that she brought this recipe to our family from her childhood. I personally prefer to use Old El Paso enchilada sauce, but feel free to use your favorite Mexican sauce with this recipe. don't be stingy with the sauce; spoon it on generously. the beans tend to expand or something; i never think i have enough beans when i am assembling them, but that suspicion is laid to rest by the time they were finished. a "big can" of refried beans is just right for 10 tortillas. finally, don't forget to fry the tortillas just for a few seconds on each side. you want them in long enough to brown slightly and stay moist, but not so much that they break when you fold them.

  • 1 package of 10-12 flour tortillas
  • 1 can of refried beans
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 can of Old El Paso enchilada sauce
  • Shredded Cheddar cheese
  • Oil for frying

Pour enough oil into a large frying pan or skillet to just cover a tortilla, then heat to medium-high. Lightly brown each tortilla on both sides, adding oil as needed. Stack browned tortillas on a plate with a paper towel between each one.

For each burrito, take a tortilla and fill with about ½ cup refried beans. Sprinkle diced onion and cheese over beans and top with sauce. Roll tortillas open-or closed-ended as you prefer, securing with toothpick, and line up in a rectangular baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes, checking every few minutes after 30 minutes.

a couple of notes to add to the above.: don't be stingy with the sauce; spoon it on generously.

also, the beans tend to expand or something, i didn't think i had enough beans when i was assembling them, but that suspicion was laid to rest by the time they were finished. a "big can" of refried beans is just right for 10 tortillas.

finally, don't forget to fry the tortillas just for a few seconds. you want them in long enough to brown slightly and stay moist, but not so much that they break when you fold them.

TasunkaWitko - Chinook, Montana

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Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 20 August 2009 at 11:08

TasunkaWitko's House Swiss Steak

Ron’s Notes: This recipe can be cooked at a bit higher temperature (350-375) if you’ve only got an hour or two, but the longer and slower it cooks, the better. Feel free to experiment with herbs and spices, but be careful if you add salt. 

  • round or similar venison steak
  • flour for dredging
  • salt and pepper
  • cooking oil and/or butter
  • 1 “big” can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 can or ½-lb. fresh sliced mushrooms
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • beef broth (optional)
  • instant or homemade mashed potatoes

Trim meat; cut into serving-sized pieces. Pound to pieces with meat mallet to tenderize. On a piece of waxed paper, mix flour, salt and pepper. Dip steaks in flour mixture, turning to coat. In large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter in 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Add coated steaks, brown on both sides. Fry in two batches if necessary, adding additional butter and oil. Arrange browned steaks in 12x8-inch baking pan or slow cooker.

In a mixing bowl, combine tomatoes, mushrooms, onion and garlic, stirring to combine ingredients. You may want to add a cup or can of beef broth. Pour mixture over steak pieces and slow-cook at 300-325 degrees until done. Keep at a lower temperature for a longer cooking time and more temperature. Serve over mashed potatoes.

TasunkaWitko - Chinook, Montana

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Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 20 August 2009 at 11:10

TasunkaWitko's House Roast Beef

Ron’s Notes: This one is so easy that it’s hard to screw up. I was pretty skeptical until I tried this, but it worked out very well. You can add more seasonings if you want to, but I suggest making it according to the recipe once or twice, then improvising from there. It’s a good one to start in the morning before work; it should be done just right by the time you get home. Slow cooking is the key for a juicy, tender roast. Temperatures and times might need a little tweaking depending on the size of the roast and how it is cooked, but the ones in this recipe should be a good place to start.

  • 1 roast beef, frozen
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 envelope onion soup mix
  • ½-cup burgundy or other red wine (optional)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 potato per diner, chopped
  • 1 carrot per diner, chopped

In an oven roasting pan, electric roaster, or crock pot, place the frozen roast on a rack. If desired, pour ½-cup of burgundy or other red wine over roast, letting it run down to the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle the onion soup mix over the top, then spread the cream of mushroom soup mix over the onion soup.

That’s it! Didn’t I say it was easy? Slow cook over a low temperature (about 275 degrees) until done to your liking. When you get home from work, add the onions, potatoes and onion and cook until vegetables are tender. The soup and wine mixture makes a very good gravy.

If you are starting with a roast that is already thawed, simply prepare as you would with a frozen one, but cook at 300-325 degrees for about 25 minutes per pound, adding vegetables when it close to being done.

TasunkaWitko - Chinook, Montana

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Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 20 August 2009 at 11:11

TasunkaWitko’s House Chicken & Rice Casserole

• One whole chicken
• 8 servings of Minute-Rice, prepared according to package directions
• 2 cans cream of mushroom soup
• A sprinkle or two of your favorite seasoning (we use Cavender’s Greek
• 2 cans your favorite vegetables (we use peas)
• 8 oz. (small block) cheddar cheese, grated and divided (the sharper the

Boil the chicken until it’s done (I wish I could be more precise; the meat

will be loose on the bone and won’t be reddish or pink), checking
occasionally and turning over as necessary. Be sure to add water if it boils down enough to expose chicken.

When the chicken is done, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Completely de-bone chicken and chop or shred meat into small pieces. Discard bones, skin, gristle and anything else that is not meat. Prepare the rice. For extra flavor, you can use the water from boiling the chicken, but be sure to skim the fat off first.

In a large mixing bowl, combine chicken, rice, seasoning (to your taste), mushroom soup and vegetables. Mix well, then stir in half of the cheese.

Dump mixture into a large baking pan and spread evenly. Top with
cheese and bake for 30-45 minutes, or until cheese is golden-brown.
Serve with hot rolls. Be sure to save some for lunch the next day.

TasunkaWitko - Chinook, Montana

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Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 20 August 2009 at 11:12

TasunkaWitko's House Marinade

4 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tsp. rosemary leaves, crushed
1 tsp. dry mustard
4 tsp. soy sauce
1/2 cup wine vinegar (red or white, depending on usage)
1/2 cup red or white wine (depending on usage)

sautee garlic in oil; add rosemary, mustard, and soy sauce. Remove from heat and stir in vinegar and wine. allow to cool before using. marinate meat for at least 2 hours.

TasunkaWitko - Chinook, Montana

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Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 26 August 2009 at 07:16

tasunkawitko's method for pulled pork barbecue


here's how i do it - others will come along and tell you how they do it. read up on different methods and decide which is right for you.

the night before i do a shoulder (picnic or butt), i brush on a light film of plain, yellow mustard. your pork will NOT taste mustardy when this is all over, but the mustard does aid in the rub clinging to the meat and in my opinion creates a better bark - and you will love bark.

anyway, after the mustard, apply a liberal amount of your favorite rub to all surfaces of the meat. you can use any rub you want, but i recommend one that:

a) has paprika for a nice, rich, red color

b) has a minimum of salt (this is mostly for health reasons but also because if there is too much salt you lose a lot of the other flavors)

c) has eithier a small amount of sugar, no sugar or turbinado sugar (sugar in the raw) instead of white or brown sugar. this is because a shoulder takes a long time to cook and somewhere in that time the sugar will go from a beautiful carmelized brown to a very ugly black that tastes fine but looks terrible.

wrap the pork shoulder in saran wrap and refrigerate overnight. to me, it's best for it to sit overnight in rub, but the world will not end if it doesn't. even if you slather and rub it right before it goes on the grill, the world will not end.

before firing up your smoker (it will take time to come to temperature), take your shoulder out of the fridge and let it set for a while, but not more than an hour, to come up a bit in temperature. i prefer to take my straight from fridge to smoker, but i don't recommend this unless one is fairly experienced with good fire tending as creosote formation is a danger. anyway, unwrap your shoulder and, if desired, apply a little more rub all around, then toss it on the grate as your smoker temperature is passing 275 degrees. the smoking chamber will cool down when you open the lid, plus the addition of a big, cold mass of meat will bring the temps down to good smoking temperatures.

smoke over your preferred wood at between 240 -250 degrees until you can twist the bone right out of there; this could take a very long time, so allow yourself at least 12 hours. it may not take that long, and it may take a little longer, but if you allow 12 hours, you should be in good shape.

you are shooting for an internal temperature of about 195-205 degrees. when this temperature has been acheived, double wrap the shoulder in foil, wrap the foiled shoulder in towels and place in an empty cooler for at least a half hour. you can leave it in for as long as 6 hours or as long as the internal temperature is above 140 degrees. this allows the meat to rest and the juices to pull back into the meat. it might also be handy in case the shoulder is ready before it is time to eat. let it rest at least a half hour before removing the foil or your meat that you worked so hard on will lose its juces and turn an ugly brown color.

when the resting time is done, open the foil and it will pretty much fall apart and be VERY hot. pull the meat apart with your fingers or use a couple of large forks raked across it to shred it to your desired consistency. remove any gristle, fat etc. at the same time.

serve on a plate or on buns using RIVET'S outstanding east-carolina finishing sauce (recipe below). some mix the sauce into the meat, others just pour some on top of the meat as it is served, your choice.

i guarantee results if you do it as described above, but i will stress that the above method is not the ONLY way to do it.

RIVET'S eastern carolina PPB finishing sauce:

Finishing Sauce:
3 Cups Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Bottle (12 oz) Killians Irish Red or Guiness Beer
1 TBSP Salt
2 TBSP Red Pepper Flakes
1 TSP Ground Black Pepper
1/4 Cup Dark Brown Sugar

Mix all sauce ingredients in saucepan, bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer and simmer 30 minutes, uncovered.

Once pork is pulled and chopped, mix in large bowl with sauce. Serve on buns with coleslaw.


a couple of notes on this: my wife doesn't let me buy good beer, so i tried what was on sale in this recipe; it worked just fine ~ if you don't have any beer in the house, you could probably use water or i would guess just about anything that would cut the acidity of the vinegar a bit - i tried apple juice once instead of beer and it did not work well. in fact, perhaps the best substitute might be the pan and foil juices from the pork shoulder (after defatting). now that i think about it, even if you use the beer, add these juices (after defatting) to the pork as they greatly enhance the flavor

depending on everyone's tolerance for spicy foods, you may want to cut the red pepper flakes in half. i prefer them as written in the recipe, especially once mixed with the other ingredients and the pork - it all balances very well and nothing is too spicy, tart, sweet etc. while this is simmering, it will probably be a bit frightening as the vinegar is of course pretty strong, but stick with it as this sauce is a perfect compliment for PPB!

TasunkaWitko - Chinook, Montana

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Posted By: rivet
Date Posted: 30 August 2009 at 08:16
What a compendium of great recipes! I have got to copy and save them all. Thanks for I gotta scroll down for each one 


Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 04 October 2009 at 03:34

Salsa di Pomodoro Siciliana

If using fresh herbs, double amounts

• 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
• 3 medium yellow onions, chopped fine
• 1 bulb (head) garlic, chopped very fine
• 1 102-oz can or four 28-oz cans diced tomatoes
• Equivalent of four 28-oz cans of chopped and seeded fresh tomatoes (if using 102-oz can above, add about 10 oz of fresh tomatoes to this amount)
• Equivalent of 1/2 bottle (375 milliliters) of Paisano or other red wine
• 1 cup Marsala
• 2 cups chicken stock
• 1/4 cup dried parsley
• 1/4 cup dried basil
• 3 Tbsp rosemary
• 2 Tbsp marjoram
• 2 Tbsp oregano
• 1 Tbsp thyme
• 2 Tbsp sea salt
• 1 Tbsp freshly-ground black pepper
• Equivalent of three 28-oz cans water
• 1 bay leaf per jar of sauce, added when canned
• Optional - crushed red pepper flakes to taste

In tall stock pot, heat olive oil and sauté onions for about 5 minutes, or until translucent. Add garlic and sauté another minute or three; do not allow the garlic to turn brown.

Add all remaining ingredients, the tomatoes first and the three cans of water last.

Bring to a strong, rolling boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to a simmer, stirring occasionally. After about an hour of simmering, crush tomatoes with a potato masher. Simmer at least 4 hours, or until sauce is thickened to your taste, stirring every 10-15 minutes and mashing tomatoes each hour. Add salt and pepper to taste during the last hour of cooking.

When sauce has reduced to your tastes, remove from heat and immediately hot-pack into canning jars.

TasunkaWitko - Chinook, Montana

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Posted By: Muleskinner
Date Posted: 04 October 2010 at 12:30
Sounds yummy.  Just like the wops in my old neighborhood used to make.


Posted By: rivet
Date Posted: 05 October 2010 at 10:06
I can tell you this stuff is great! If you can use garden grown tomatoes and herbs so much the better....Tas has really scored with this recipe.


Posted By: Goatlocker
Date Posted: 05 June 2016 at 11:49
Oh my goodness, I WILL be trying some of these out. First up is that bacon potato chowder, after that I'm gonna try the smoked trout. When our tomatoes start coming off the vine this year will have to do up a batch of the salsa for sure. Will try it using the plum tomatoes from the seeds my daughter brought home a couple years ago from Italy.

Give me a fast boat for I intend to go in harm's way.

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